Photos: Greater Williamsburg
When you step into Williamsburg you are standing on what is considered to be the birthplace of the American Revolution.
Founded in 1632, the city forms one corner of Virginia’s famous ‘Historic Triangle’, along with Jamestown and Yorktown.
‘Colonial Williamsburg’ is a living history museum that boasts buildings dating back to 1699. Lovingly restored early in the 20th-century, it was from here that Patrick Henry led the Virginia militia to protect stores of gunpowder. With this one defiant act, the country was set on the road to revolution.
Nearby, the living history museum in Jamestown and the site of the original city, ‘Historic Jamestowne’, tell the stories of the first settlers and their interaction with the Powhatan Indians. And in Yorktown you’ll find the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. This is where, in the fall of 1781, General George Washington besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’ British army. On October 19, Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the war and ensuring independence.
‘RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn’ at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center delves deep into a world of intrigue and espionage to help you connect with the area’s history. As you travel through the revolutionary city as a patriot spy you break codes, escape detection and uncover a mystery that will save the revolution.
Another quirky take on history includes ‘Colonial Williamburg After Dark’, where you can explore the buildings of the revolutionary city at night. Gather in Shields Tavern for a rousing, one-of-a-kind meal, go on a ghost tour to learn about the lesser-known inhabitants of the city and then stop by Chowning’s for some 18th-century entertainment.
If you’re not faint-hearted, you can let off some steam at Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens, where the roller coasters will get your heart pounding, even if the ghost stories didn’t. Sample some pretzels and beer in the Oktoberfest village before heading to the Abbey Stone Theatre for a celebration of Irish music, dance and storytelling.
You can then bring an educational and entertaining day to an explosive conclusion at the garden’s ‘IllumiNights’ show; a daily event that combines larger-than-life entertainment with a firework display.